Available at ShopTNA.com
DVD Release Date: October 23, 2007
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 210 Minutes
Against All Odds February 2006: Christian Cage Vs. Jeff Jarrett – This match had a lot going on in it with the debut of the “most controversial referee in wrestling history” Earl Hebner. Larry Zbysko also had the stipulation in place that if anyone interfered in the match, then they’d be fired. Cage had only been in TNA for about four months and already had a big feud going with Jarrett. This was a really good match that kept a high pace and lead Cage to his first ever World Title victory.
Bound For Glory October 2006 – 8 Mile Street Fight: Christian Cage Vs. Rhino – This is an absolutely brutal match between two men that just were at each other’s throats for a full fifteen minutes. It began outside in the streets and the competitors had no rules. They could use anything as a weapon and do whatever they saw fit in order to win the match. Everything, and I do mean everything, was used as a weapon including chairs, light poles, ladders, and even street signs. Some absolutely brutal shots and a good bit of blood made this an enjoyable ride from bell to bell.
Impact! November 16, 2006 – Barbed Wire Six Sides Of Steel: Christian Cage Vs. Rhino – The feud between these two men continued onto the weekly TNA series, Impact and it was going to get a lot uglier. The six sides of steel cage surrounds the ring with barbed wire all around the top of it making escape impossible. But weeks prior, each competitor had won certain items that they could use against their opponent or to get out of the cage: Christian chairs and bolt cutters while Rhino would have access to keys and a straightjacket. This was an incredibly vicious match from beginning to end that may have surpassed their brutal street fight at Bound For Glory. The blood flowed freely and the former friends tore each other apart.
Impact! November 23, 2006: Christian Cage Vs. Sting – One of the greatest icons in wrestling history, Sting took on the Instant Classic Christian Cage in a number one contender’s match for the World Title. This is a decent back and forth match-up that had Sting with the upper hand for most of the bout. It ended in controversy with the debut of Cage’s “problem solver,” Tomko. Tomko ran in from the crowd and simply destroys Sting to help out his friend.
Final Resolution January 2007: Christian Cage Vs. Abyss Vs. Sting – Cage’s problem solver Tomko was barred from ringside and locked in a cage during this match making sure he didn’t interfere. Sting and Abyss had a huge feud going as Sting and Jim Mitchell were in a duel for control of the monster. There was a lot at stake in this match and it certainly didn’t disappoint, but there were better matches that could have been chosen instead of this one. I think the Sting/Abyss/Mitchell storyline overpowered Cage’s involvement in this match and his second title win too much.
Against All Odds February 2007: Christian Cage Vs. Kurt Angle – There was a lot going on in this match with Scott Steiner acting as “The Consultant” and Samoa Joe being the “Unofficial Enforcer.” This is another match that could have possibly been replaced with something else. The focus again was on the fact that Samoa Joe would get a title shot if Angle won the title so half the match, it was all the announcers could talk about. Then Steiner and Tomko started fighting with Joe to the back taking the focus off the match even more.
Destination X March 2007: Christian Cage Vs. Samoa Joe – This was probably the best match on the DVD by far as both men really put together some great work. They wore down one another the entire match setting up each other for their finishing maneuvers and some close two-counts upped the drama even more. If only the ending of the match had been clean, then it would have been really great.
Learning about Christian Cage’s history step-by-step was really a good piece of work. It’s virtually a long interview with questions being asked to him off screen and then he would answer them. A lot of good stories about his childhood, family, jobs, and education give him a really human quality. Being a wrestling fan for close to twenty-five years now, I’ve met so many people that consider the wrestlers as being superhuman. The fans see them as wrestlers and nothing more because of the work they do in the ring and on television each week. Little do they realize that they had tough times growing up as well and do a lot of the same things everyday that we do.
There were some really good stories about Cage’s friendship with Adam Copeland (Edge) and how they went from just meeting as kids to bonding through wrestling. Being fans brought them together and wrestling is what made them closer then ever. Some old footage of Cage and Copeland as kids performing at local wrestling shows really gives you an idea of just how young they were when they started it all. The fun thing in the old footage is seeing Cage and Copeland’s mannerisms and how they actually carried over to their work today.
Cage’s first break in wrestling came with a promotion called Midwest Championship Wrestling which is where he first met Rhino. This leads a bit to some candid conversation between Cage’s first promoter and himself about Rhino which is very amusing. Traveling together with Copeland and Rhino lead to a great relationship between all of them which is still a strong friendship today.
This leads into Cage’s break into the mainstream with WWF/WWE. He tried to get on and wasn’t very successful at first, but then one day he got a call from Copeland letting him know that the WWE was thinking of pairing him up with a wrestler named Gangrel. That pairing of course lead to a fantastic feud and angle development so many years ago that I remember well because it was fun and even brought about the birth of the “bloodbaths.”
Cage goes on about a lot more including love/marriage, what he does in his downtime, and finally making the jump over to TNA. Things were good for him in WWE, but he had done some thinking and realized it was time for a fresh start. Leading into footage of his debut in TNA and the great ovation he got from the crowd in the ImpactZone which was a really cool moment. He talks a bit more about his work ethic in the ring, his favorite moments being in wrestling, and what he may possibly do when the day comes for him to retire. Cage came off as a really great person in this interview that simply enjoys what he does for a living and would love to give back to it someday.
Next up is a very Cribs-esque type segment with Cage going on a tour throughout his home. He shows his office which has pictures of himself everywhere and a few title belts. I’m pretty sure I spotted the old WWF European Title on a shelf too. He goes on a tour around his bedroom, dining room, closets, bathrooms, and introduces the camera to all his cats. It’s a fun and playful look where he acts as himself but the Cage persona comes out every now and then making for a really fun piece.
Then there is a very old match from Pennsylvania Championship Wrestling in its entirety that pits a very young Christian Cage against Lance (aka Simon) Diamond. It really wasn’t a bad match even for back then and you can see a lot of their present styles in it. After that is one of the most fantastic interviews I’ve ever seen. It’s Cage’s first ever interview and it’s complete with his Suicide Blondes tag-team partner Adam Copeland. They plat the perfect heels in it.
The video is presented in 1.33:1 Full Screen format and looks extremely good. The transfer from television to DVD format really was done very nicely and the production work is first rate.
The audio format isn’t specified but it sounds to me like stereo sound. No matter what it may be, it does the necessary job and sounds alright. If only I didn’t have to hear Don West then the audio would be perfection.
The special features are actually his home tour, bonus match with Lance Diamond, the early interview, and a photo gallery. They are included and play right along with the matches and story/interview feature or can be played separately.
The Inside Pulse
The story of Christian Cage didn’t go nearly as in depth as I’ve seen in some other wrestler DVDs, but it still told a great story. Most of the matches included were top notch although a few of the later ones could have been better choices. The interview with Cage really is a nice feature and tells a lot about how he broke into the business as a kid all the way up to today. Perhaps a few words or interviews with some of his peers giving their thoughts on him would have added a nice touch or two. The four special features are fun to watch too with the main one being the tour of his home. It’s a nice candid look inside his personal life that fans usually don’t get to see. Overall The Instant Classic is a good look behind the scenes of Christian Cage and right in his face as he’s in the ring. He’s always been one of my favorite wrestlers and any fan of his should grab a copy of this. Hopefully another DVD with more matches will come out soon because he deserves another DVD cuz that’s how he rolls.
|The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Christian Cage: The Instant Classic
||RATING(OUT OF 10)
||7(NOT AN AVERAGE)|